Your memories of Meng's - from the doormat to the orchestra

We struck the right chord with Echo readers when we asked for recollections of Meng's.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 10:28 am
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 12:27 pm
The notice promoting Fred Lucas and his band.

The Sunderland restaurant which closed in the 1950s still brought back memories for readers, including one man who retained a piece of its history.

Alan Wilkinson responded to say: “Although I never had the opportunity to visit the place I do have a little part of its history.

Mengs of Fawcett Street in 1900, showing the patisserie.

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“I inherited the Meng’s door mat from my late father in-law over twenty years ago. And for as long as can remember he used it in his garage.”

Les Allen added to the memories by reminding us that he played there.

“I recall playing there a couple of times with Fred Lucas orchestra and in later years enjoyed attending many dinner dances and a New Years Eve dinner dance - Happy days.”

It was only last month when we first reported the history of the Fawcett Street restaurant which was originally named Meng’s Brothers, but later just became known as Meng’s.

Crowds outside the Town Hall in 1937 with Meng's in the background.

The restaurant opened in 1889 and for more than 60 years it was considered the finest restaurant in the town. The Meng family originally came from France and two brothers opened the restaurant directly opposite the site where the Town Hall was completed the following year.

For a long while, it was the place to eat and be seen at in Sunderland, with part of the building used as a ‘patisserie’ with hand-made cakes on offer.

Morning coffee and afternoon tea at Meng’s was very popular with ladies who luncheon.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Meng’s also provided music for wedding receptions and concert parties through their house band, Fred Lucas and his Syncopated Dance Orchestra - the very orchestra that Les remembered appearing with.

Mengs of Fawcett Street in 1900, showing the patisserie.

Thanks to everyone who responded.

Crowds outside the Town Hall in 1937 with Meng's in the background.